Bylaws of the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this organization is the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County (herein referred to as SDPC). The SDPC is a not-for-profit political committee that is organized as a chartered Chapter of the Florida Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies (LGBTA) Democratic Caucus.
ARTICLE II. MISSION STATEMENT
Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County is devoted to advancing equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. As a Democratic organization, SDPC will work with the Democratic Party and support fair-minded Democratic leaders and candidates who support our mission. Our organization’s strength comes from Pinellas County lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and allied Democrats working together to achieve the following goals:
1. Stimulating active interest in political and governmental affairs among the LGBT community and our allies;
2. Educating the LGBT community about issues that directly affect the quality of our lives. In addition, we want to educate the gay community and our allies about the vast differences between the two major parties on issues of concern to the LGBT community;
3. Supporting and participating in Democratic Party activities and working within the Party to help strengthen its record on issues important to the LGBT community – including standing against bigotry and intolerance, and advancing the prominence of openly LGBT people within the Democratic Party;
4. Supporting and electing Democratic candidates and Party nominees who are committed to defeating homophobia and prejudice at the local, state and national levels.
5. Electing qualified openly LGBT people to public office, and as convention delegates, and to achieve appointments of openly LGBT people to city and county boards and commissions in Pinellas County;
6. Fostering good will, cooperation, and collaboration between LGBT Democrats, our allies, the Democratic Party, other progressive organizations in the area, and with the community at large;
7. Registering voters who support the mission of our organization and encouraging their participation in the electoral process;
8. Achieving diversity in our Chapter’s membership and its governing bodies; and
9. Providing support to the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, and to the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee.
ARTICLE III. ENDORSEMENTS
1. At no time, will this Chapter support any non-Democrat against a Democrat in any election, other than in judicial elections.
2. In all statewide and federal primaries, elections, or runoffs, whether partisan or non-partisan, where more than one Democrat is running for the same public office, the Chapter shall follow the endorsement or specific non-endorsement of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus.
3. In other primaries, elections, or runoffs, whether partisan or non-partisan, where more than one Democrat is running for the same public office within the geographic area of the Chapter, the Chapter may endorse (i.e., endorse, certify, screen, or recommend, in any manner) and support a candidate.
4. No such endorsement shall be made prior to the close of the candidate-qualifying period.
5. Prior to being eligible to endorse, (a) at least 80% of Executive Committee positions shall be filled, (b) the general membership shall have held at least two meetings at which a quorum was present during the previous 12 months, and (c) the Executive Committee shall have held at least three meetings at which a quorum was present during the previous 12 months.
6. A supermajority vote of more than 2/3 of the Chapter members present and voting shall be required to endorse candidates seeking elective office.
7. Endorsements of candidates seeking support for election/selection to Democratic Party bodies, or to any other commission, board or organization shall not be considered endorsements subject to supermajority rules, but shall be subject to general rules governing motions.
ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP AND AFFILIATION
1. Eligibility for Membership — Any Democrat registered to vote in Pinellas County, or a county contiguous to Pinellas, who is supportive of the mission of this Chapter shall be eligible for Chapter membership. No other residency restriction will be placed on membership or the privileges of membership. In accordance with Article VI of the Florida Democratic Party Bylaws, with the exception of the organizational meeting of this Chapter, those members permitted to vote in any Chapter election for officers must have been a member of the Chapter at least 45 days prior to the date of such election. Membership will become immediately effective upon the payment of dues and verification of Democratic Party affiliation to the extent practicable. Questions pertaining to eligibility shall be determined by the full membership upon the recommendation of the Membership Committee.
2. Affiliated Members
A. Any Democrat or individual without a Party affiliation, who is registered to vote in Pinellas County and who is supportive of the mission of this Chapter may choose to join as an associate member.
B. Any Democrat or individual without a Party affiliation, who is registered to vote outside of Pinellas County or who is not able to register to vote in Florida and who is supportive of the mission of this Chapter shall be eligible to be an associate member, upon payment of dues specified by the Chapter.
C. Associate members of the SDPC may participate in the activities of the Chapter, may be appointed to committees, and may attend and speak at meetings, but shall not be eligible to make motions, vote, or hold Chapter office. Associate membership will be effective immediately upon the payment of dues.
D. Professional Membership with the SDPC is offered for businesses and professional who wish to establish a professional relationship with the chapter and meet criteria described in the Standing Rules.
A. Dues shall entitle individuals to membership in the Chapter (as either a voting member or an associate member). The Chapter shall determine the annual dues of each category of membership or affiliation as part of the Standing Rules. Annual dues are payable to the Treasurer on or before December 31 for the ensuing year, or at the time of becoming a member for the remainder of that calendar year. New/Non-previous members who renew their membership for the first time are eligible for pro-rated dues based when they joined the previous year, calculated on a quarterly basis. Dues paid between November 1 and December 31 by new/non-previous members shall be deemed for the current and ensuing year.
B. By January 31 of each year, members whose dues are 30 days in arrears shall be notified by the Chapter. Those members whose dues are not paid by March 1 shall be automatically placed in inactive status and shall not be considered members.
4. Responsibilities of Voting Members — The duties of the voting members of the SDPC are as follows:
A. To annually evaluate, recommend and approve — as considered appropriate by the Chapter’s Voting Members — any mission statement, program, goals, and/or plan of operation for the SDPC as recommended by or through the Executive Committee;
B. To establish policies governing the operation of the SDPC, its officers, and the Executive Committee;
C. To attend the regularly scheduled SDPC meetings to advise, counsel, suggest, debate, and participate in the decision-making process with respect to the mission, program, goals and plan of operation for the SDPC;
D. To execute, fulfill, complete, and satisfy, to the best of her/his ability, any task, charge, assignment, duty, or responsibility assigned to him/her by the President or the Executive Committee or their appointed designee or agent;
E. To nominate and select the Chapter officers;
F. To support, financially or by volunteering, any by voting for, candidates endorsed by SDPC.
5. Resignation from Membership — Members desiring to resign from the Chapter shall submit their resignation in writing to the Secretary or the President. Dues will not be refunded.
6. Membership Lists — The membership list of the SDPC shall be confidential and shall not be delivered or disclosed to any member or any other person unless authorized by the Executive Committee or the general membership. Nothing herein shall restrict the use of the membership list for mailing purposes by the SDPC or for such other purposes or by any other person or entity so long as the Executive Committee or the general membership approves of such use by a two-thirds vote and adequate provisions are made to ensure the security and integrity of the list.
ARTICLE V. GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
1. Regular Meetings — Regular general membership meetings of the SDPC shall be held once a month, unless otherwise determined by a vote of the general membership.
2. Special Meetings — Special meetings may be called by the President or by a majority of the Executive Committee. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call to the meeting. Except in the case of an emergency, at least seven days notice shall be given.
3. Quorum and Voting
A. Twenty percent (20%) of the Chapter’s voting membership shall constitute a quorum. Without a quorum, no action may be taken by the membership. No proxies shall be permitted in voting at any time and votes may be taken by secret ballot. Unless otherwise specified in these Bylaws, a majority vote is required to approve motions. Voting may be conducted electronically, as long as a quorum is met based on the number of members responding.
B. In accordance with Article VI of the Florida Democratic Party Bylaws, with the exception of the Chapter’s organizational meeting, only those individuals who have been members for at least 45 days may be permitted to vote in any Chapter election for officer(s). In addition, only those persons who have been members for at least 45 days may be permitted to vote in Chapter endorsements for candidates for public office, or amendments to the Chapter’s Bylaws. Votes on all other matters may be cast by all members in good standing.
4. Meetings Open to All Democrats — The time and place for all regular and special meetings of the Chapter shall be publicized fully and in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons. Meetings shall be open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of sex, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ethnic identity, or physical disability. All meetings shall be in a facility accessible to people with physical disabilities.
ARTICLE VI. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
1. Composition — The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers and the chairs of the standing committees. The immediate past president (if applicable) shall be an ex-officio member. The members of the Executive Committee must be members in good standing of the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County.
2. Duties and Powers — The Executive Committee is responsible for the conduct of the affairs of the SDPC in the interim between meetings of the general membership, subject to these Bylaws and the Standing Rules. It will assist the President in the preparation of the agenda for each meeting, provide guidance to the membership in the deliberations of the Chapter, and carry out the instructions of the Chapter’s membership. The Committee may also be responsible for developing, reviewing and implementing a long-range plan for the Chapter. This body has general fiduciary responsibility for the Chapter’s financial records and may have the Chapter’s financial records reviewed each fiscal year and may appoint a public accountant for this purpose.
3. Meetings — Unless otherwise determined by the Executive Committee, the Committee shall meet prior to each general meeting at a time and a place specified by the President. Special meetings of the Committee may be called by the President and shall be called, within seven days, upon the written request of five members of the Committee.
4. Quorum and Voting — A majority of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum. Proxies will not be allowed at Executive Committee meetings and votes shall not be taken by secret ballot. No one member of the Executive Committee shall have more than one vote, even if qualified by more than one criterion.
ARTICLE VII. OFFICERS
1. Officers — The elected officers of the Chapter shall be a President, a Vice President for Political Action, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
2. Duties of Officers — The duties of the elected officers shall be as follows:
A. President — The President shall: preside at all meetings of the Chapter and the Executive Committee; provide guidance to all committees; nominate all standing and special committee chairs and appoint the committee members (unless otherwise provided in these Bylaws); appoint other ex-officio non-voting officers as may be needed to assist in the conduct of the meetings; represent the Chapter at county, district, state, and national meetings and functions (or appoint a designee); act as primary spokesperson for the Chapter; and serve as chief executive and administrative officer, with the power to sign all contracts and other instruments of the SDPC which are authorized by the Executive Committee.
B. Vice President for Political Action — The Vice President for Political Action shall: in the absence of the president, chair the Executive Committee and membership meetings; be responsible for planning and implementing the political activities of the Chapter; and chair the Elections Committee.
C. Secretary — The Secretary shall: provide members with notice of meetings, proposed Bylaws changes, and other procedural business; maintain a record of all meetings of the Executive Committee and general membership; maintain all records of the Chapter (except as otherwise assigned by these Bylaws) including, but not limited to, meeting minutes, committee reports, the official membership roll, committee lists, the Bylaws and Standing Rules; and coordinate with the Treasurer and Membership Committee Chair on correspondence with members regarding the payment of membership renewal dues.
D. Treasurer — The Treasurer shall: serve as the custodian of all funds of the Chapter; be responsible for keeping an accurate record of receipts and expenditures and presenting a current statement of income and all expenditures at each Executive Committee meeting and as requested by the Executive Committee; present a report at each general membership meetings; disburse funds only as authorized by the Executive Committee or the general membership; and appoint, with the approval of the Executive Committee, deputies to receive and account for Chapter funds, if needed. The Chapter’s financial records shall be available for review by any voting Chapter member upon reasonable request. Checks shall be signed jointly by the Treasurer and the President (or the Vice President for Political Action in the absence of the President).
3. Term of Office — The Chapter’s officers shall be elected to serve for one year or until their successors are elected. Election of officers shall be at the organizational meeting and thereafter at the February general membership meeting. Subsequent elections may be staggered in accordance with provisions of these Bylaws. Nominations shall be accepted from the floor, and voting may be by secret ballot. Officers shall be permitted to be elected to consecutive terms. Elected officers should be equally divided by gender, as practicable. In the election of officers (and the appointment of all Chapter offices and committees), consideration should be given to gender, racial, ethnic and other diversity characteristics to reflect the membership and the local LGBT community to the extent possible.
4. Office-Holding Limitations — No member shall hold more than one elected office at a time.
5. Opportunity to Participate — The Chapter shall publicize fully the legal, practical, and pertinent procedures for selection of the Chapter’s representatives and officers; such publication shall be timely to assure notice to all interested Democrats, whether members or prospective members, such that they may have adequate opportunity to participate.
6. Loyalty Oath — Chapter officers shall execute a loyalty oath, in the form and manner prescribed by the rules of the Florida Democratic Party, immediately upon taking office, or as soon thereafter as possible (within 30 days), and before discharge of their duties. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, failure to comply shall result in immediate removal from office.
7. Maintenance of Membership — All officers are required to be current dues paying voting Chapter members. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, failure to comply shall result in immediate removal from office.
8. Organization Records — All records created and maintained by Chapter officers in the discharge of their duties shall be the exclusive property of the Chapter. Officers shall be custodians of such records during their term of office and shall physically present them within 30 days of the conclusion of their term (or upon the election of their successor) to ensure the smooth transfer of office to their successor.
9. Vacancies and Removal
A. In the absence of or disability of the President, the Vice President for Political Action shall assume the duties of the President. If the President resigns, he/she shall act as President until a permanent President is elected. In the absence of the Vice President of Political Action, the role shall be filled by the Treasurer.
B. Other vacancies shall be filled, on an acting basis, by appointment of the President, until the next regular meeting of the Chapter, provided that at-least 10 days notice is given of the vacancy, at which time the position will be filled for the remainder of the term, by nominations from the floor.
C. Removal of an officer from office before the end of the term shall be for cause (including neglect of duty) and shall be considered at any general meeting by a two-thirds vote of those present who are members in good standing, providing notification of such pending action has been distributed to the membership at least two weeks in advance.
ARTICLE VIII. STANDING COMMITTEES
A. Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, the President shall nominate the standing committee chairs (or co-chairs) and appoint the members, in consultation with the Executive Committee, subject to ratification by the general membership. Chairs of Standing Committees shall sit on the Executive Committee.
B. The standing committees shall be as follows: Bylaws Committee, Fundraising Committee, Membership Committee, Media & Marketing Committee, Elections Committee, Program Committee, Publications Committee, and Special Events Committee. Committees and functions may be combined upon approval of the general membership.
2. Functions — The functions of the standing committees shall be as follows:
A. Bylaws Committee — This body shall: receive and consider all proposals for changes to the Bylaws and to the Standing Rules and report its recommendation to the Executive Committee and the general membership; and conduct a continuing study of the Bylaws and Standing Rules and make periodic recommendations to the general membership for amendment.
B. Fundraising Committee – This committee is charged with the following responsibilities: plan and conduct an annual schedule of fundraising activities to provide funding for Chapter programs and activities in accordance with the Chapter’s budget; and coordinate specific fundraising events for candidates endorsed by the SDPC.
C. Membership Committee — This body is charged with the following responsibilities: coordinate outreach and recruitment activities aimed at attracting new members; build a diverse membership with a broad representation of LGBT Democrats; coordinate with the Secretary and Treasurer on correspondence with members regarding membership renewal and dues payment; recommend rules and procedures relating to membership requirements and dues, including the manner and form of initial application, verification of Democratic Party registration, and renewals; and hear and recommend resolution to the Executive Committee on any dispute related to an individual’s membership in the Chapter.
D. Public Relations Committee — This body is charged with the following responsibilities: generate positive media coverage of Chapter events, activities, positions, and successes; create and implement marketing strategies to promote awareness of the Chapter, enhance its image, and support the Chapter’s projects, events and programs; communicate the Chapter’s endorsements to the LGBT community in coordination with the Elections and Communications Committees; and maintain a permanent record of all publicity materials, especially those items published in print or used on broadcast.
E. Elections Committee — This committee is chaired by the Vice President for Political Action and is charged with the following responsibilities: Coordinate activities to maintain and enhance relations between the SDPC and elected officials, candidates for public office, local and state Democratic Party organizations and the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus; coordinate the Chapter’s candidate review process, including distribution and collection of candidate questionnaires and coordination of candidate forums at Chapter meetings or special events; plan and implement the Chapter’s political activities in support of campaigns; develop activities to increase lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender participation in public boards, commissions, and elective office; facilitate “get out the vote” activities during the course of each election cycle; coordinate mobilization of members; organize and coordinate voter registration campaigns; and conduct petition drives and public demonstrations, where appropriate, on issues of concern to the community.
F. Program Committee — This body is charged with the following responsibilities: conceive and coordinate programs for the Chapter’s monthly membership meetings (with the approval of the Executive Board); coordinate set-up, tear-down, and refreshments for each monthly meeting; reserve meeting space for membership meetings; work with the Political Action Committee to coordinate candidate or ballot initiative forums; and work with the Publications and Media and Marketing Committees to ensure appropriate publicity about each meeting in the media and in the Chapter’s newsletter.
G. Communications Committee — This body is charged with the following responsibilities: ensure that all Chapter activities, including meetings, are advertised in an appropriate and timely manner; produce and distribute the Chapter’s monthly and special announcement emails; develop and maintain the Chapter’s website; create printed and electronic information that promotes awareness of the Chapter, enhances its image, and supports its projects, events and programs; and maintain a record of printed materials produced to support Chapter activities.
H. Special Events Committee — This body is charged with the following responsibilities: Coordinate the Chapter’s participation in Pride activities; coordinate the Chapter’s participation in other special community events, including selecting appropriate events and developing goals and objectives for participating; and coordinate activities with the Fundraising Committee to ensure compatibility with Chapter goals and objectives regarding finances.
3. Other Committees — The President shall appoint the chairs and members of other committees, standing or ad hoc, as the Executive Committee or general membership shall, from time to time, deem necessary to carry on the work of the Chapter.
4. Committee Records and Reports — All records created and maintained by committees in the discharge of their duties shall be the exclusive property of the SDPC. All books and records of the SDPC may be inspected by any voting Chapter member upon reasonable request. Committee chairs shall be custodians of such records, shall make copies of all records for retention by the Secretary, and shall transfer all records to succeeding chairs within 30 days of the appointment of their successors. All committee reports requiring action at a membership meeting shall be in writing and should be previously presented to the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE IX. ACCOUNTING
1. Expenditures will be made in accordance with a budget prepared by the Treasurer in consultation with the Executive Committee and approved by the membership.
2. The Chapter’s fiscal year shall be the period from January 1 through December 31 of one calendar year.
ARTICLE X. MISCELLANEOUS
1. Anti-Discrimination Provisions — The SDPC hereby adopts and shall enforce the following anti-discrimination provisions:
A. No Democratic Loyalty Oath should be used which has the effect of requiring members of the Democratic Party to condone or support discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, economic status, ethnic identity, national origin, physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
B. The time and place for all public meetings of the SDPC should be publicized fully in such a manner as to assure timely notice to all interested persons, and should be open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, religion, economic status, ethnic identity, national origin, physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
C. In order to fully and adequately inform prospective and current members of a full description of the legal, practical and pertinent procedures for selection of all SDPC officers, committee chairs or other representatives, the chapter should publicize fully, and in such a manner, as to assure notice to all interested Democrats in time to have adequate opportunity to participate.
2. Charter Recertification — In July of every odd numbered year, or at such time as otherwise required by the Caucus or the State Party, the Chapter shall apply to the Membership and Chartering Committee of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus for charter recertification. Failure to do so shall result in the forfeiture of all rights and privileges of the use of the word Democrat, Democratic, or derivative thereof.
3. Dissolution — In the event the Chapter wishes to dissolve, a resolution stating the date of dissolution and reasons for the same shall be adopted by a majority vote at a regular general membership meeting, provided that such resolution is submitted in writing at the previous meeting. If the Chapter disbands for any reason, the assets and funds of the Chapter, after all debts are satisfied, shall become the property of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus.
ARTICLE XI: INDEMNIFICATION OF MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
The SDPC will have the right to indemnify and hold harmless the voting members, the President, Secretary,
Treasurer, each Vice President, and any other officers or standing committee chairs and their respective assistants designated by the Executive Committee to the full extent permitted by Florida law. The SDPC will have the power to purchase or procure insurance for such purpose at such time it is deemed necessary and sufficient funds are determined to be available for this purpose. This paragraph shall not apply to willful misconduct or gross negligence by any voting member, officer, assistant, or other designated person.
ARTICLE XII. STANDING RULES OF PROCEDURE
Standing Rules for the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County shall be adopted to provide for the governance of the affairs of the Chapter in matters not provided for in these Bylaws.
ARTICLE XIII. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws or any other Chapter rules or procedures, the rules of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus, the Florida Democratic Party and the National Democratic Party, and any statute applicable to this Chapter that do not authorize the provisions of these Bylaws to take precedence.
ARTICLE XIV. AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
1. Amendment Process — These Bylaws may be amended at any regular general membership meeting by a two-thirds vote, provided that the text has been distributed to the membership at the previous meeting, and distributed via e-mail to the Chapter’s membership e-mail list at least 10 days in advance. The Bylaws Committee shall review all proposed amendments to the Bylaws and report its recommendation in writing to the membership. Bylaws, and any changes or amendments thereto, together with copies of the minutes of the meeting at which such amendments were adopted, shall be filed with the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus within 30 days following adoption.
2. Effective Date — All amendments shall be effective immediately, but shall be subject to the approval of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus and the Florida Democratic Party Committee on Clubs, Organizations, and Caucuses. Any amendment or change, which is not approved, shall be deleted from the Bylaws. Actions taken pursuant to such non-approved amendment or changes shall be null and void.
These Bylaws were adopted on: February 9, 2006.
· February 21, 2008
· February 18, 2016
· November 15, 2018
Standing Rules of the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County
1. Membership and Dues
Each year, by August 1, the Executive Committee may review the dues and categories of membership and recommend changes to the membership for approval not later than the September membership meeting. Any changes to dues or categories shall become effective for the next year.
A. Dues and the related categories of membership shall be as follows:
1) General……………………………………. $40 per year
2) Sustaining Member………………… $100
3) Advocate…………………………………. $250
4) Benefactor………………………………. $500
5) Associate…………………………………. $25
6) Student……………………………………. $15
7) Special Partners Benefits
a) Sustaining & Sustaining…… $175
b) General & General…………. $70
c) Associate & Associate…….. $40
d) Student & Student………….. $25
8) Seniors (60 years or over)………. 10% discount off a membership level above
B. Affiliation benefits — Voting members of the Chapter are automatically considered associate members of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus and shall be encouraged by the Chapter to join the Caucus as full voting members.
C. Professional Membership
1) Businesses and professionals who which to establish a professional relationship with the SDPC will meet the following criteria:
a) The Professional Member will pay an annual base Professional Membership fee of $250;
b) The Professional Member will commit to sponsor at least one Stonewall Democrats event or meeting(s) (as negotiated); and
c) The lead contact for the Professional Member must be a Democrat and a member of the LGBT community or an ally/supporter.
2) A Professional Membership includes the following benefits offered by the SDPC:
a) The Professional Member with contact information will be included on the SDPC website;
b) The Professional Member will be publicized as the sponsor of a SDPC event or meeting(s) as appropriate and commensurate with the level of sponsorship;
c) The SDPC will take steps to ensure the chapter’s membership is aware of the relationship that has been established and the services offered by the Professional Member; and
d) Other benefits as determined or negotiated.
3) A Professional Membership does not include voting privileges.
2. Endorsement of Candidates
In addition to procedures contained in the SDPC Bylaws, to qualify to endorse candidates, the Chapter must meet the following requirements:
A. Election Plan
1) The Vice President for Political Action shall, on behalf of the Elections Committee, report to the membership an election plan including matters such as which races to focus on the timing of endorsements, voter registration drives, and other related activities.
2) The Elections Committee shall request from each candidate to be considered for endorsement, a survey developed by the Elections Committee and a statement from the candidate that he or she is seeking the endorsement of the SDPC. In evaluating a candidate’s request for endorsement, the Elections Committee shall consider the information provided by the candidate, any candidate interview, as well as information gathered through research by committee members. The Elections Committee may choose to modify the above process in the case of a previously endorsed candidate who is running without opposition from another Democratic candidate.
B. Endorsement Voting
1) Following a candidate screening process, the Elections Committee, will summarize the committee’s interaction with the candidate(s) and offer its recommendation about endorsement to the SDPC membership.
2) Votes may be taken by voice vote. All written ballots for endorsement will provide for the option of voting to abstain, and the option to not endorse any candidate. Absentee or proxy voting is not allowed. Voting may be conducted electronically, as long as a quorum is met based on the number of members responding.
3) In a race involving more than one Democratic candidate, if no candidate receives a supermajority vote on the first ballot, a second ballot shall be conducted upon adoption of a motion by any member. In that case, the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will be considered on a second ballot except as provided by subsection B.4. below. In the case of a tie vote involving either of the two candidates to be considered for a second ballot, all of the qualifying tied candidates will be included.
4) If, after a second ballot, a candidate has not received a supermajority vote, the Chapter’s official position in that race will be “No Endorsement.”
5) In any race where more than one seat is available, the Chapter may endorse as many candidates as there are seats available. In cases where a second ballot is to be conducted, the number of candidates on a second ballot will be twice the number of seats to be voted on.
C. Campaign Contributions — This chapter shall not make direct or in-kind contributions to candidates.
3. General Membership Meetings
Regular Meetings — Regular general membership meetings of the SDPC shall be held on the third Thursday of each month, unless otherwise ordered by the Chapter membership.
4. Executive Committee Policy Guidelines
A. Newsletter and Website
1) Paid advertising may be accepted for any Chapter newsletter, e-mail distribution, and/or the website in accordance with a rate schedule approved by the Executive Committee.
2) Political advertisements may be accepted only from candidates or initiative campaigns endorsed by the Chapter and/or the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus.
3) Sexually explicit advertising or advertising that is contrary to the mission of the Chapter will not be accepted.
4) Endorsed candidates may, at their own expense, develop materials for e-mails or the website or print flyers to be inserted into the newsletter announcing fund raising and other campaign activities, or Executive Committee may specifically decide to pay for the printing of the insert.
5) The President may, subject to review by the Executive Committee, approve informational or event-related mailing inserts, e-mails, or website links provided by other organizations, provided that the content of the material/link is consistent with the Chapter’s mission, platform, endorsements, and statements of position, and also provided the mailing insert is in compliance with postal and political campaign regulations.
Use of the Mailing List
1) Per the Bylaws, the membership records are confidential. Use of the Chapter’s mailing list is subject to a vote of the Executive Committee or the general membership.
2) The membership list and/or the mailing list shall not be provided to candidates or for ballot measures not endorsed by the Chapter.
3) Unless approved by the Executive Committee or the general membership, the membership mailing list and other Chapter lists may not be given to a campaign or another organization or individual. Chapter members can put labels on mailers and the Chapter can process the mailing, or the Chapter may arrange for a professional mailing firm to handle the addressing and mailing.
4) The Chapter’s mailing list is not to be rented, traded, or sold. The Chapter’s membership list may be provided to the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee, with the exception of those members who specifically request confidentiality.
5. Amendment of Standing Rules
Standing rules or amendments may be proposed by any member or group of members. Standing Rules may be adopted or amended by a majority vote of the Chapter members present and voting at any regularly scheduled meeting provided that the text of the proposed standing rule or amendment has been distributed to the membership at the previous meeting, and distributed via e-mail to the Chapter’s membership e-mail list at least 10 days in advance. The Bylaws Committee shall review all proposed amendments to the Standing Rules and report its recommendation in writing to the membership.
These Standing Rules were adopted on: February 9, 2006.
· March 15, 2007
· February 18, 2016